Tag Archives: New Hampshire writers

1 of my top 5 days!

Last week I was delighted to attend a day long seminar in Manchester, NH  of the New Hampshire Conference for Women

I’ve wanted to attend for years, but something always came up that was a time suck and I couldn’t. This year, when I heard who the featured speaker was, I pushed everything else on my agenda to the to do pile, because there was no way I was going to miss out on hearing one of my heroes, Jack Canfield, speak.

Jack Canfield is the motivating force behind the SUCCESS PRINCIPLES and the CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL books that have been in print and production for almost 20 years and show no sign of slowing down anytime in the future. I was a fan with the very first CSFTS book.  I became a devotee when one of my own stories was published in the series.

In 2011  I submitted a piece of non-fiction I’d written after seeing an advertisement in Writer’s Digest for calls to a new  addition to the series, FOR EVERY MOM’S SOUL. There’s not a lot I know about, but I know what it’s like being a mom, so I sat down and wrote a few pages on my reflections of being a mom to a daughter, and an only child. Well, miracles happen every day peeps, because a month later I received a letter from the CSFTS franchise telling me my piece was going to be added into the 2012 edition titled CHICKEN SOUP FOR EVERY MOM’S SOUL. (I’m on page 87)

To say I was excited would be an absolute understatement. It was around this time (2011-12) that I started toying with trying to get my writing career ( such as it was) up and running. I’d had a lot of success with non-ficiton, lifestyle stuff published in magazines, and some real success with fictional short stories in literary  magazines, but I wanted to break into the book reading market.

If you’ve ever read anything of my journey to that first book’s publication in this blog, you know it was a strange, twisted road to publishing success.

But I made it and in 2015 my first book hit the shelves ( and Kindles!!)

I can truly attribute my desire and my knowing I was going to make it someday in the book publishing world to that first publication in the CSFTS book.

So, when I heard Jack Canfield was going to be the speaker, I had to attend. And boy, am I glad I did. I brought my copy of the book I was in with me,  screwed up my courage, and approached him to ask him to autograph the book and tell him what being included in it had done for my career. Someone told me I was so brave to go up to him and ask for his autograph when no one else was around. My thought was this: I wasn’t brave, because I just remembered what I feel like every time someone asks me to autograph one of my books: honored! He was as gracious and open and kind and sweet as could be. He not only signed the book but wrote a lovely message as well.

Two times in my life I have dreamed about meeting the people who influenced my decision to try my hand at writing: Nora Roberts and Jack Canfield. And I’ve now met both of them.

Dreams do come true, peeps. Every. Single Day.

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Almost half way thru NaNoWriMo…

30 days can be regarded in a number of ways. It’s a full month on a calendar ( if you disregard February and forget the 31 day months); it’s a little over 4 exact weeks; it’s a pay period for most workers, a menstrual cycle, and a billing rotation. It’s the amount of time most people set aside to get a haircut. Psychologists tell us in 30 days we can form new and better habits, changing out old, bad ones. Many contact lenses need to be replaced every 30 days, and you should really change some of your makeup monthly as well.

All those things can be done in 30 days. Most with relative ease.

What’s not so easy to do in 30 days is write a 50,000+ word novel/first draft.

Don’t get me wrong: it can be done. And has.

But it really isn’t that easy.

We’re almost at the halfway time mark of this year’s NaNoWriMo challenge. I’m doing well – better than I expected, really. Right now I’m sitting in my local Subaru dealer getting my car inspected and fixing a recall problem.

And I’m typing. At this moment – this blog entry. But until a minute ago I was working on my NaNo WIP. I’ve found I bring my laptop with me everywhere I go, including to work, and when I can manage it – lunch hours and breaks in the day, – I open my NaNo file and … go.

The goal of 50,000 words can seem daunting. For most, it is. But for people like us who write for a living/hobby/obsession, it’s not as bad as it seems.

Breaking it down to a little over 1500 words per day – or roughly 6-7 pages of  double spaced text – it can be done.

And remember – this is a first draft. It’s not the finished, polished, ready to submit one. That comes later with editing.

I find with this draft I usually do a lot of dialogue. I can always put in the subtext, tags, and descriptions later with the editing, but I like to know what my peeps are gonna say first and take the story from there. Dialogue comes quick to me – probably because I never shut up in real life! But seriously, whatever comes easiest for you – dialogue, exposition, description, or even backstory – go with it. Let it flow and let it go. Like I said, you can always go back later, after the challenge, and make it better.

But get those words on the page now. That’s what the important part of the challenge is. Training yourself to type everyday, to create on a  timeline, to focus your thoughts and words.

So, how far are you at this halfway mark?

 

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